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SuWu: Montreal's First Hip Hop Eatery
April 6, 2013 | Evelyn Reid - If opening night was any indication of SuWu's future, Montreal's first “hip hop eatery” is destined to drag on its packed house debut in Cafeteria's old locale, one I saw lined with media types, fashionistas and scenesters.
That's right. SuWu is a “hip hop eatery” in the words of dapper SuWu co-owner/event producer Zach Macklovitch, a Montreal native who wanted a nightlife destination as hot as the best of them, but with a down-to-earth, douche-free* vibe. “It's nice to have a venue or place where it's just chill, where you can come have a drink and no one is going to ask you for a guestlist or table reservations. Just come and hang out,” he says, “the concept behind it was a neighborhood bar. There's no real format to a neighborhood bar. It's like a Cheers. You wanna come in and eat? Eat. You wanna drink? Drink. Everyone will say hi and be nice to you and that's it.”
SuWu, SaintWoods ... One in the Same, Sort Of
Since 2006, SaintWoods has been producing hundreds of events in Montreal and the greater Toronto area, working with, among others, the likes of Kid Cudi, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and DeadMau5. And as of April 4, 2013, SaintWoods founder Nathan Gannage and partner Macklovitch took their event lifestyle brand a step further, setting foodie roots in Montreal's city center via The Main, enlisting the help of Toqué alumni to helm their kitchen, the heart and soul of SuWu.
SuWu: The Soul Food
What I liked most about my evening at SuWu was the soul food. Okay, it's not soul food per se. Call it soul food lite. Think grilled cheese mac'n'cheese, tempura white fish tacos, fried chicken, and more. Full menu and price list.
SuWu: The Soul Brunch
Weekend brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dishes might include fried chicken French toast with buttermilk and blueberries, angel cake pancakes with creme fraiche and fresh strawberries, breakfast nachos with scrambled eggs, salsa, beans and sour cream, and the SuWu BLT which is composed of peameal bacon, romaine lettuce, tomato, mayo, and parmesan. The menu changes often.
SuWu: Name Your Budget
Another feature I appreciate at SuWu is how management seems cognizant that not all friends are made financially equal. And it reflects in their price points, from SuWu's house beer at $4 a glass—when I asked what SuWu beer was, Macklovitch chuckles, “we worked with Labatt to come up with our own beer, it's like the lightest beer I could get Labatt to make”—to a glass of Beaujolais for a reasonable $8.50 and an Austrian Grüner Veltliner at $9. On the higher end are 8-ounce flasks of Ketel One for $55 and a Dom Pérignon Brut closing in on $400. The cocktail list is solid, if on the high side. I tried out one of their cocktails, a Cachaça, Cointreau and apricot brandy based “Big Booty Ho,” which is like a cross between an orange julep and a banana popsicle. On the small side and a little weak booze-wise for $11, but lovely. Prices are subject to change without notice.
SuWu: Dress Code
Wear a hoodie or a three-piece suit. Sneakers or 6-inch stilettos. It's all good.
Expect a crowd on the younger side, say 18 to 40.
SuWu: To Make Reservations
Suwu operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Birthday group reservations may be possible. Call (514) 443-1455 for more information.
SuWu: Business Hours
Open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and then 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Open Saturday and Sunday from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Food is served every night until 2 a.m.
3581 St. Laurent, corner of Prince Arthur, Montreal, QC H2X 2T6
Full disclosure: all food and drink items, except for a sample of SuWu's mac'n'cheese grilled cheese offered on the house, were paid out of pocket by Evelyn Reid's evening companion. Note that menu items and prices as well as opening hours may change without notice.
*Down-to-earth? Macklovitch's words. Douche-free? My words.Continue to 2 of 11 below.
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Suwu's Fried Chicken BiscuitGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 3 of 11 below.
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Evelyn Reid Downing Suwu's Fried Chicken BiscuitGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
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SuWu Co-Owners Zach Macklovitch and Nathan GannageGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
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SuWu's Big Booty HoGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 6 of 11 below.
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Inside SuWuGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
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Inside SuWuGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
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SuWu MenuGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
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SuWu's Mac 'n Cheese Grilled CheeseGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 10 of 11 below.
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SuWu's Veal Meatball TacosGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.Continue to 11 of 11 below.
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Suwu Room ViewGet the scoop on Suwu, Montreal's first hip hop eatery.